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GST Impact On Women

Taxes are the lifeblood of government and no taxpayer should be permitted to escape the payment of his just share of the burden of contributing thereto.

Introduction
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was finally born in India. This is India's largest tax reform. It is based on the concept of "one country, one market, and one tax". So basically, goods and services tax that is the GST in India is significantly levied by the government of India on the procurement of goods or services in the country and this tax was introduced in the year 2017 by our Indian Government.

Goods and services tax has in a way replaced all the other various indirect taxes like the value added tax commonly known as VAT and has also compress them into a single tax talking about the division of this tax it is commonly divided in parts being the State goods and service tax (SGST) which is collected by the state government and the Central goods and service tax (CGST) which is collected by the central government.

GST was also supported by extensive use of Information Technology [through Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)], which leads to greater transparency in tax burden, accountability of the tax administrations of the Centre and the States and also improve compliance levels at reduced cost of compliance for taxpayers.

Studies indicate that introduction of GST would instantly spur economic growth and can potentially lead to additional GDP growth in the range of 1% to 2%. Now, the share of both these governments is in way equal to GST for example if like 5% of GST is being applied on a product then the SGST (2.5%) and CGST (2.5%) will be equal. Talking about another type of tax which is the integrated goods and services tax that is the IGST is basically applied on the goods and services supplied interstate.

In past few years female literacy rate in India has been increased very sharply. Now, women are actively participating in jobs and in business as we well. With women comprising over 48 per cent of the country's population, it is impossible to think of economic growth without women as the fundamental drivers of change. With the implementation of GST scheme, the owners of small businesses specially women who have been negatively impacted the most.

They are loaded with hesitation while working in the new regime and rightly so with new business. Its also impacted heath and hygiene 60 crore population (women's life) by implement tax on sanitary napkin.

The Advantages of GST in India

  • GST has brought together Number of direct taxes under one umbrella Simplifying taxation for Services and commodity business.
  • Experts believe that Cost of goods and services will be reduced in long run with the introduction of GST.This is because cascading effects of Series of Vats and taxes has now been erased.
  • Service provider companies turn with a turn over lower than 20,00,000 Are exempt from paying GST., in case north-eastern states, the threshold is at ₹10,00,000. this will help the small business avoid lengthy taxation procedure.
  • Companies with a turnover up to rest 75,00,000 under the GST taxation processes can benefit from composition scheme and pay only 1% on their turnover. This will help them follow a simplified taxation process.
  • With GST replacing multiple states have and central taxes, the tax collected is likely to be distributed across the country, providing fund for development to the developing or undeveloped pockets in India.
  • GST has reduced taxes on certain goods by 2% and others by 7.5%, such as smart phones and cars.
  • GST bring uniformity in the taxation process and allows Centralised registration. This gives a chance to small businesses to file their tax returns every quarter easy online mechanism. This reduces the multiplicity of taxes as they do not have the resources to hire tax experts.
  • GST reduces logistics cost by eliminating border taxes and resolving check post discrepancies. A 20% price drop in logistics cost for non bulk goods is clearly an expected outcome.
  • GST points toward a positive impact on India GDP. It is expected to increase by at least 80% within the next couple of years.

Disadvantages of GST

  • Increased costs of software purchase that can adjust in GST filling process leads to higher operational costs for many businesses.
  • GST has given rise to complexity for many business owners across the nation.
  • GST has received criticism for being called disability tax as it now taxes articles such as braille paper, wheelchairs, hearing aid etc.
  • The complexities in taxation for products have been manufacturers suspend their reward program, which are sure to affect consumer.
  • The impact of GST on the real estate market caused an 8% increase on real estate price leading to 12% fall in demand closely after it was brought into action in June, 2017 this however, may be short term trend.

Impact on Women

As well all know India is a country that speaks a lot about women empowerment and gender equality, so it is very difficult to find out every key Government policy through the gender perspective. Today women are in field of entrepreneur and generate substantive incomes that are subject to GST.

A GST registration is required for everyone, even if women are doing business on small scale and are supplying to e-commerce websites or local stores (this would specifically be true for women supplying garments, clothing, jewellery, paintings and other similar merchandise). Every person and industry are affected by this tax scheme, and I mentioned here impacts women as suppliers and users

As a Consumers

Women in are only who are the budget makers and spenders for our family. And these schemes could be the reason of extra payment takes away from our income. This creates confusion into them regarding whether the prices of services and goods should have gone down after GST or up. Most of the traders especially our friendly neighbourhood shops would sometimes be charging us extra claiming that GST has increased the cost of things.

But It is important to understand that this is not true! The Government has kept the essential necessities out of the purview of GST. And people should how much GST is levied on services or things that we use on a daily basis is important.

Daily useable Items

Taken as whole, there is a mixed impact on the items used in the kitchen. The Government has kept basic food products like fruits, vegetables, wheat, rice, break, lassi, salt, curd, honey, pulses and food grains into 0% slab of GST. Good news for all non-vegetarians as chicken has got cheaper.

Product we shopping

The government has applied moderate taxes on shopping of clothes. The garments above Rs 1,000/- will attract 12 % slab rate tax. GST on Foot wears below Rs 500/- is at 5% and above Rs 500/- at 18 % slab. So fashionable clothes may be a little expensive but how does that matter because when it comes to fashion, we never check price tags!

Beauty Salon and Vanity Items

Makeup products used regularly by women like Bindi, Sindoor, Kajal, Bangles etc. are not being taxed. There are the items used by a larger population of women pan India and so there is no overhead tax on these products under the GST reform scheme. Whereas services related to spa and salons government has set a tax rate of 18% for grooming and beauty related services, earlier it was charged by 15% in Service Tax.

Jewellery

Last but not least, Jewellery has become expensive due to GST. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) for gold was fixed at 3% and an additional 5% tax was fixed to be levied on making charges. Collectively we can say whether we are suppliers or Consumers of products and services, GST impacts our lives. We have to understand that Important step taken by government for economy and development of country. We as citizens its our duty to welcome these changes with open arms and contribute our bit towards a stronger economy and nation.

Impact on women hygiene

The GST council not only ignored the suggestion, but also put sanitary napkins, sanitary towels and tampons at the tax slab of 12 per cent, making it even costlier. A vitally important aspect of private health and hygiene for ladies worldwide, sanitary napkins could hardly be considered a "luxury" item. It's estimated that almost 355 million women are between post-pubescent and pre-menopausal age, and only 12 per cent of those have access to sanitary napkins.

The reminder primarily believe old clothes and rags, even leaves and sand. Not only unhygienic, the shortage of proper protection during menstruation restricts women's mobility. It's estimated that one out if 4 girls drop out of faculty once they start their period, and miss the maximum amount as 20 per cent of their academic year thanks to menstruation.

Society's discomfort in handling and acknowledging issues associated with menstruation adds on to the psychological and physical distress faced by women during time. In India, we required to remove the problem of sanitary pads, by making it accessible and affordable for each woman. Not just hygiene, it's also essential to take care of a woman's privacy and dignity.

Women entrepreneur

  • The women entrepreneur finds difficulties in understand and adopting the required requirements to deal with the new system of indirect taxation. Like filing three returns in one month, registration rules, complex refund rules - there are multiple compliance issues that disturb the business. In these past three months of GST implementation, nation identified the pain-points that were making compliance difficult for small women entrepreneur.

    The council met recently, to ease the GST compliance procedures, especially for the tiny businesses. The limit for composition scheme has been increased to Rs 1 crore. SMEs having an annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore can file GST returns, quarterly. Government has even launched helpline systems on the social media to instantly address these issues and queries faced by businesses. Also, everyone avails the services of application service providers (ASPs) which will assist you ensure complete GST compliance in the easiest possible way.
     
  • liquidity crises are another challenge for women entrepreneur. In GST, fund is going to be maintained within the short of an electronic credit ledger with the tax department. This credit ledger will keep a record of all of your tax liabilities. In the case of services' sector, the rates are increased from 15% to 18%.

    This many force the taxpayers within the sector to face some blockage of Capital Government is currently performing on an answer to problem as capital is extremely important, particularly for smooth functioning of small and new businesses.

    For the exporters, the government is functioning on an 'e-wallet' system which will be created for every exporter by April 1, 2018 to ease the method of refunding their returns. then, the exporters will have to pay a nominal GST of 0.1%. Exporters also will receive refunds from 10th October, which would help in resolving GST issue
     
  • In terms of compliance of GST rules, small businesses not need to affect multiple taxes. However, small businesses will need to have clear invoice-by-invoice updates for each payment and compliance to avail the advantages posed by GST.
     
  • The GST Bill brings efficiency in product costs (especially due to lowered effective tax within the market), but also results in significant costs and time investment in regulation management, and compliance. Small businesses are already wary of GST because it seeks to try to away with default or fake bills, which were the idea of small business operations thus far. Tax fir little entrepreneurs may additionally be bought under the radar just in case of inconsistency with business incomes and expenses.
     
  • Must be harder for women entrepreneurs to negotiate this as among businesses; it's generally not considered women's work to participate in negotiation of bills, and affect middlemen and suppliers. Hence, supposedly won't entrepreneurs will enjoy the digitization and organization of operational processes. The organization and digitization that's 'part and parcel of the GST rules also put light on inconsistencies in tax paid by women entrepreneurs

Conclusion

We all know that gender tax is not even a problem that causes outrage among women, even educated and gender-sensitive ones. Gender tax would be visible, maybe if we all knew that it exists. Without a doubt, women pay more than men to access and use comparable goods and services, whether in our cities, professions, or online and offline. GST also has the advantage of allowing businesses to benefit from this input tax, i.e., cascading tax, by allowing them to claim Input Tax Credit.

This is a boon for small businesses, but its bane for women somehow especially for women entrepreneurs, because it creates difficulty in understanding and adopting indirect taxation system. And we know effective tax system implemented to reduced tax rate because they can claim input tax credits and avoid double taxation. However, many GST reforms must need to implemented while keeping women's hygiene and interest in mind

References:
  • https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.deccanchronicle.com/amp/opinion/columnists/050717/did-centre-forget-women-while-fixing-gst-slabs.html
  • https://www.google.com/amp/s/wap.business-standard.com/article-amp/news-ians/government-insensitive-failed-to-make-gst-gender-sensitive-117053001134_1.html
  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349624043_GST_for_women_empowerment
  • https://blog.mygov.in/editorial/gst-for-entrepreneurs/
  • https://cleartax.in/s/start-ups-benefit-under-gst
Written By: Anjali Giri

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